Suitable unialgal strains of Gracilariopsis chorda and Gracilaria vermiculophylla for hemagglutinin production

  • Hirotaka KakitaEmail author
  • Naoki Yanaoka
  • Hideki Obika


The selection of unialgal culture strains suitable as sources of algal hemagglutinins is one of the important factors for success in algal component production. To obtain suitable unialgal culture strains, several Gracilariopsis chorda and Gracilaria vermiculophylla strains were surveyed for hemagglutinating activity, relative growth rates, and fertility difficulty. Fertile tetrasporophyte samples of naturally occurring G. chorda and G. vermiculophylla were collected at each of three different collection sites around Shikoku Island in southwest Japan. Unialgal culture strains were started from isolated tetraspores obtained from each naturally occurring plant. The hemagglutinating activities in algal extracts of the three G. chorda strains (3100–7000 units mg−1) were higher than those of the three G. vermiculophylla strains (920–980 units mg−1). The daily growth rates of the G. chorda strains (8.0–13.8% day−1 at 22 °C) were higher than those of the G. vermiculophylla strains (4.1–4.4% day−1 at 22 °C). Among the unialgal culture strains tested, the one started from isolated tetraspores from G. chorda growing in the Katsuura River had the highest hemagglutinating activity and relative growth rate. This strain also did not become fertile even after a period of 3 years of culture with aeration at 22 °C, in a 14-h light–10-h dark cycle at 60 μmol photons m−2 s−1. Thus, the unialgal culture strain started from isolated tetraspores from G. chorda growing in the Katsuura River seems to be a useful source for hemagglutinin production.


Biological production Gracilaria Gracilariopsis Rhodophyta Growth rate Culture 



We are grateful to Emeritus professor Dr. Hirotoshi Yamamoto of Hokkaido University and Professor Dr. Ryuta Terada of Kagoshima University for identifying G. chorda and G. vermiculophylla and for giving advice about unialgal culture procedure.

Funding information

This research was partially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 16K00596, 2016.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Integrated Basic SciencesNihon UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Health Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyTakamatsuJapan

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